[This article is reproduction of an exciting content found elsewhere.]
Speed of light in Rigveda: (Originally from http://on.fb.me/IpQAF2, a long commentary at http://bit.ly/I55raN)
Ancient Vedic science “Nimisharda” is a phrase used in Indian languages of Sanskrit origin while referring to something that happens/moves instantly, similar to the ‘blink of an eye’. Nimisharda means half of a Nimesa, (Ardha is half).
In Sanskrit ‘Nimisha’ means ‘blink of an eye’ and Nimisharda implies within the blink of an eye. This phrase is commonly used to refer to instantaneous events.
Below is the mathematical calculations of a research done by S S De and P V Vartak on the speed of light calculated using the Rigvedic hymns and commentaries on them.
The fourth verse of the Rigvedic hymn 1:50 (50th hymn in book 1 of rigveda) is as follows:
तरणिर्विश्वदर्शतो जयोतिष्क्र्दसि सूर्य | विश्वमा भासिरोचनम |
taraNir vishvadarshato jyotishkrdasi surya | vishvamaa bhaasirochanam ||
“Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Surya=Sun), maker of the light, Illumining all the radiant realm.”
Commenting on this verse in his Rigvedic commentary, Sayana who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) says:
” tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane ekena nimishardhena kramaman.” which means “It is remembered here that Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha”
NOTE: Nimisharda= half of a nimisha.